Raiders Hold Glitzy Groundbreaking Event For Proposed 65,000-Seat Las Vegas Stadium
The Raiders yesterday held a "dazzling groundbreaking event" for their proposed $1.9B, 65,000-seat domed stadium in Las Vegas, marking the team's "most visual display of committing to ... bringing the NFL to Southern Nevada," according to a front-page piece by Richard Velotta of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. While all the legal paperwork is "still months away from being signed," the groundbreaking "moved the chains of public perception." The event was "attended by about 600 invited guests" and "included a tribute to the 58 people who died in the Oct. 1 mass shooting." The Raiders "purposely set up the groundbreaking venue at the exact angle the stadium will sit so attendees could enjoy the view through the retractable wall at the northeast end of the stadium once the venue is completed." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval were the "top dignitaries on hand." Goodell, after being introduced, said, "Only in Vegas can you turn a groundbreaking ceremony into a show." Sandoval added, "Now it’s real, right? This is one of the most transformative moments in the history of Las Vegas." UNLV President Len Jessup and AD Desiree Reed-Francois also "were on hand," as the school's football team will play at the stadium (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 11/14).
GOING ALL IN: In Las Vegas, Alan Snel noted by groundbreaking standards, it "doesn’t get more star-studded." There was a sense that late Raiders Owner Al Davis "would have approved." Meanwhile, UFC COO Lawrence Epstein, a stadium board member, said that the promotion "will stage at least one mega event a year in the stadium." MGM Resorts Int'l President William Hornbuckle added that he "hopes the monorail will serve the stadium -- words that were heard" by Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak. A source said that a "proposed UNLV stadium lease" will be on the stadium board agenda in December (LVSPORTSBIZ.com, 11/13). In S.F., Regina Garcia Cano reports contractors will "work under an ambitious timeline as the team wants to begin" the '20 season at the stadium (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/14). In Las Vegas, Adam Candee notes Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, Rams Owner Stan Kroenke and Chargers Chair Dean Spanos were in attendance, as were Fox' Howie Long and former NFLer Jim Plunkett (LAS VEGAS SUN, 11/14). Kraft said, "This will become the No. 1 destination city in the league. Fans pick one or two cities in the league to visit for away games, and everyone will pick this one" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 11/14).